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Speakers

Keynote Speakers

REGGIE WILSON | Tuesday, Oct 21 | Keynote Address

REGGIE WILSON is a choreographer, performer and the founder of New York's Fist & Heel Performance Group. Called "one of this country's most talented choreographers" (New York Times), Reggie's work draws on the movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual cultures of Africans in the Americas, mixing them with postmodern elements to create what he calls post-African/neo-HooDoo modern dances. He is the recipient of the BESSIE-New York Dance and Performance Award, Herb Alpert Award in Dance, and the Joyce Foundation Award for his recent work Moses(es) Project.

Reggie's performances have premiered at international venues including the Dance Factory (South Africa), Danças na Cidade (Portugal), Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), The Politics of Ecstasy (Berlin, Germany), and Summerstage (New York City).

INDIRA JOHNSON | Wednesday, Oct 22 | Keynote Address

INDIRA JOHNSON's internationally-renowned projects have made waves in communities throughout the United States and India. Melding Indian folk traditions with large-scale sculptural installation, her work challenges notions of peace, gender, violence and literacy. She is founder of the Shanti Foundation for Peace, an award-winning nonprofit supporting non-violence through arts education, and her sculptural work is represented in collections around the world - including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Mobile Museum of Art, and the High Museum of Art. In 2013, Indira was the first visual artist to be named Chicagoan of the Year following her public art initiative Ten Thousand Ripples, which employed one-hundred giant emerging Buddha head sculptures to spark conversation and celebration around peace in neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

MARLENA SMALLS | Thursday, Oct 23 | Keynote Address

DR. MARLENA SMALLS was born in Ohio to South Carolina parents and is the founder and director of the internationally known Hallelujah Singers. A graduate of Central State University, Dr. Smalls’ talents have taken her around the globe and she has toured extensively in Europe, performed for the Queen of England, and held a concert in the Frankfurt Opera House in Germany. But not even an Ohio upbringing and a well-worn passport could sever Dr. Smalls’ link to South Carolina. In 1985, she founded the Gullah Festival in Beaufort, which would celebrate Gullah culture of the South Carolina Sea Islands and preserve its many traditions, and by 1990 she had formed the Hallelujah Singers. Inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame in 2004, Marlena is also known to international audiences as Bubba’s mom in the Academy Award-winning motion picture Forrest Gump.

MAYOR JOSEPH RILEY | Tuesday, Oct 21 | Welcome Address

One of the longest serving mayors still in office, JOSEPH RILEY, JR. has served as Mayor of Charleston since 1975. Mayor Riley's vision for arts in South Carolina led him to establish the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs; the annual MOJA Festival that showcases African-American and Caribbean arts and artists; City Arts for Kids, a program that ensures access to the arts and arts education; and a nationally-acclaimed architectural design model for beautiful public housing. His leadership paved the way for the Spoleto Festival - a sister festival of Italy's world-renowned arts festival that has stimulated an artistic renaissance in Charleston and throughout South Carolina. Mayor Riley has won numerous awards for his arts leadership and was named one of the 25 most dynamic mayors in America by Newsweek.

Performers

THE V-TONES | Tuesday, Oct 21 | Evening Performance

Charleston’s only ukulele hot club jug band vaudeville ragtime neo-retro-postpostmodern beachfront quasi-primitive anachronistic revolutionary anti-inflammatory mass catharsis jazz freakout and philharmonic group therapy session. The V-Tones will be performing at the "Night in Charleston" party at the Historic Rice Mill.

JUMAADI | Thursday, Oct 23 | Evening Performance

Jumaadi is an Indonesian sculptor, shadow puppeteer, and installation artist currently dividing his time between Australia and the Netherlands. Working across mediums, Jumaadi's work has been described as "having an other-worldly feeling, as if the figures and landscapes are from a barely remembered dream." He has exhibited extensively in Australia, Indonesia, Asia, and Europe and was recently selected to participate in the Moscow Biennale in Russia. This fall Jumaadi will be the International Artist-in-Residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.

Presenters

luciana achugar | Choreographer + Dancer (New York, NY)
Laura Amador | Resident Manager, Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Woodside, CA)
Christie Angel | Deputy Chief of Staff + Director of External Affairs & Services, City of Columbus (Columbus, OH)
Andrea Avery | Community Arts Coordinator, John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI)
Jamie Badoud | Executive Director, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences (Rabun Gap, GA)
Becca Barnet
| Artist + Founder, Sisal & Tow (Charleston, SC)
Shana Berger | Co-Director, Coleman Center for the Arts (York, AL)
Beth M. Bienvenu | Director of the Office of Accessibility, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
Dan Brawley | Executive Director, Cucalorus Film Festival (Wilmington, NC)
Caroline Brooks | Program Manager, Sitka Center for Art & Ecology (Otis, OR)
Michaela Pilar Brown | Artist (Charleston, SC)
David Bruce | Stateside Liason + Founding Board Member, The Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (Arlington, VA)
Jennifer Calienes | Independent Consultant + Senior Advisor, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, FL)
Jennie Carlisle | Production Curator, Elsewhere Artist Collaborative (Greensboro, NC)
Christina Catanese | Director of Environmental Art, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (Philadelphia, PA)
Julie Chenot | Program Director, The Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France)
Sara Coffey | Founder + Director, Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT)
Donna Cooper Hurt | Multi-media Artist (Charleston, SC)
Caroline Crumpacker | Executive Director, The Millay Colony for the Arts (Austerlitz, NY)
Julie Decker | Director + CEO, Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK)
Anna Drozdowski | Director, Neighborhood House (Philadelphia, PA)
Hannah Durack | Program Associate, Performing Arts Program, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (New York, NY)
Sharon Dynak | President, Ucross Foundation (Ucross, WY)
Linda Earle | Executive Director, New York Arts Program (New York, NY)
Pablo Elliott | Farmer, Marble House Project (Dorset, VT)
Dave English | Manager of Membership + Development, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (Pittsburgh, PA)
Melanie Finlayson | Studio Manager, Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC)
Omari Fox | Artist, Educator, Executive Committee Member of Alternate ROOTS (Charleston, SC)
David Fraher | Executive Director, Arts Midwest (Minneapolis, MN)
Melissa Franklin | Director of Pew Fellowships in the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts + Heritage (Philadelphia, PA)
Jim Frost | Co-Executive Director, Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL)
Gwylene Gallimard | President, AZULE (Hot Springs, NC)
Mario Garcia Durham | President + CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (Washington, DC)
Cindy Gehrig | President, Jerome Foundation (St. Paul, MN); President, Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France)
Beth Gill | Choreographer + Dancer (New York, NY)
Ain Gordon | Artist (New York, NY)
Kim Graham | Vice President of Community Engagement, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (Charlotte, NC)
Jamie Gregory | Underwriter - Fine Art & Museums, Markel Specialty Programs (Glen Allen, VA)
Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts (Chicago, IL)
Camela Guevara | Charleston Supported Art Co-founder; Artist, Redux Contemporary Art Center (Charleston, SC)
Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center on Bayou Road (New Orleans, LA)
Al Head | Executive Director, Alabama State Council on the Arts (Montgomery, AL)
Cammie Hill-Prewitt | Residency Coordinator, A Studio in the Woods (New Orleans, LA)
Makoto Hirano | Founding Company Member, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)
Lisa Hoffman | Associate Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Stacy Huggins | Executive Director, Redux Contemporary Art Center (Charleston, SC)
Ra Joy | Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois (Chicago, IL)
Jason Kalajainen | Executive Director, Luminarts Cultural Foundation (Chicago, IL)
Brad Kik | Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design/ISLAND (Bellaire, MI)
D.S. Kinsel | Artist; Program Coordinator & National Social Media Coordinator, MGR Youth Empowerment Arts in Action; Co-Founder, BOOM Concepts (Pittsburgh, PA)
Eric Kocher | Director, Artist-in-Residence Program, HUB-BUB (Spartanburg, SC)
Ken Lambla | Dean + Professor, College of Arts and Architecture, UNC Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
Claudia La Rocco | Writer + Cultural Critic (New York, NY)
Helene Larsson Pousette | Head of Events Unit - Department for Intercultural Dialogue, The Swedish Institute (Stockholm, Sweden)
Wayne Lawson | Director Emeritus, Ohio Arts Council; Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities (Columbus, OH)
Catherine Lee | Assistant Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio (New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Melissa Levin | Director of Cultural Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY)
Arleta Little | Arts Program Officer, McKnight Foundation (Minneapolis, MN)
Sandra Liu | Program Officer, Asian Cultural Council (New York, NY)
Beth Malone | Founding Executive Director, Dashboard Co-op (Atlanta, GA)
Victoria Marks | Choreographer + Dancer (Los Angeles, CA)
Jean-Marie Mauclet | Artist, Secretary of AZULE (Charleston, SC)
Ken May | Executive Director, South Carolina Arts Commission (Columbia, SC)
Susan Meier | Principal, Meier and Associates (Washington, DC)
Dana Morrison | Artist-in-Residence Program Manager, Facebook (San Francisco, CA)
Erin Glaze Nathanson | Arts Director + Curator, Charleston Supported Art, LLC (Charleston, SC)
AnneTrabue Watson Nelson | Visual Arts + General Programming Coordinator, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department (North Charleston, SC)
Michael Orlove | Artist Communities, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works Director and International Activities Coordinator, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
La'Sheia Oubre | Educator + Community Specialist (Charleston, SC)
Karen L. Paty | Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts (Atlanta, GA)
Carla Peterson | Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography/MANCC (Tallahassee, FL)
Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs + Presentation, Gibney Dance (New York, NY)
Heather Pontonio | Program Officer for Art, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (New Haven, CT)
Molly Rideout | Co-Director, Grin City Collective (Grinnel, IA)
Shey Rivera Ríos | Director of Programs, AS220 (Providence, RI)
Aurora Robson | Artist-in-Residence, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, Hermitage Artists Retreat (Englewood, FL)
Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods, Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Brian Rogers | Artistic Director, The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, NY)
Alison Russo | Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (New York, NY + Bellagio, Italy)
Jay Salinas | Co-Founder, Wormfarm Institute (Reedsberg, WI)
Alysia Savoy | Program Manager, The DISTILLERY Artist Residency (New Orleans, LA)
Margaret Shiu | Founder + Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio (New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Ann Simmons | Charleston Supported Art Co-founder; Marketing + Development Coordinator, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department (North Charleston, SC)
Andrew Simonet | Choreographer, Writer + Founder, Artists U (Charleston, SC)
Mark Sloan | Director + Senior Curator, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (Charleston, SC)
John D. Spiak | Director + Chief Curator, Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton (Santa Ana, CA)
Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, RI)
Brad Thomas | Director of Residencies + Exhibitions, McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC)
Susan Page Tillett | Executive Director, Mesa Refuge (Point Reyes Station, CA)
Eric Wallner | CEO, Torpedo Factory Art Center (Alexandria, VA)
Ryan Walsh | Writing Program Director + Grants Program Manager, Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)
Cynthia Weitzel | Visual Artist, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (Red Wing, MN)
Pamela Winfrey | Senior Artist, Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA)
Tiffany York | Contemporary Programs & Residency Manager, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA)

 

luciana achugar | Choreographer + Dancer

bio to come...

Laura Amador | Resident Manager, Djerassi Resident Artists Program

Laura Amador began working at Djerassi in 2012, hosting artists in residence and workshop attendees. She started the Volunteer Docent Program there in 2013, which brings in volunteers from the surrounding community to lead Public Sculpture Hikes. She earned her BFA in Painting from Boston University and continues to paint and create textile work. Previous to working at Djerassi, Laura was a volunteer docent with the Access to Art program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

Christie Angel | Deputy Chief of Staff + Director of External Affairs & Services, City of Columbus

Christie Angel serves as Mayor Michel B. Coleman’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of External Affairs & Services for the City of Columbus. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in local government, legislative affairs, and community relations to city government. Previously, Christie served as a Vice President with Sean P. Dunn & Associates where she was responsible for all aspects of client representation working with corporate, government, non-profit, cultural and tourism organizations to advance their government and community relations goals. She has held positions in both the public and private sector, including Director of External and Government Affairs for AT&T and legislative aide to Coleman when he served on Columbus City Council. An active community volunteer, she serves on the boards of directors of Columbus 2016, The Greater Columbus Arts Council, The River South Authority, and The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. She is member of the WELD Advisory Council and the Columbus Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She is a past chair of 200Columbus – the Bicentennial and the YWCA Columbus. She is a Leadership Columbus graduate. Christie is the recipient of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Corporate Roundtable Award for leadership, the St. Francis DeSales High School Forest “Treeze” Sharrock Alumni Award for community service, and was installed in the Leadership Columbus Hall of Fame in 2013. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communications and MBA from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. She and her husband Otto Beatty, III reside in German Village.

Andrea Avery | Community Arts Coordinator, John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Andrea Avery is the Community Arts Coordinator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and a visual artist living and working in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Andrea received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking, as well as her Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She completed her Master of Arts degree through the Peck School of Arts, as well as receiving a Museum Studies Certification through Anthropology in 2011 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her active exhibition record includes shows in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, Scotland, England, South Korea and Thailand. Andrea recently completed her Master of Fine Arts terminal degree (2012) at the Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jamie Badoud | Executive Director, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences

Jamie Badoud joined the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences as Executive Director in 2009 after serving in a similar role at Art Papers magazine for seven years. He studied fine arts and accounting at Auburn University and as an artist he documents commercial and civic messaging. His latest work was published in the “Power” issue of Drain magazine. Also trained in the art of warfare, Jamie served as a medic in the US Army Reserves for eight years. As a public accountant and CFO, he has helped organizations through various lean and mean times. In 2012 and 2013, he chaired Georgia’s largest public funding panel for the arts (FCAC) and has served as panelist for the American Institute for Architects (AIA). He sees richness in unexpected places and has proudly called most southern states home along with the “worst” city in America and the “poorest” country in the world. An adventuresome world traveler, he now totes two toddlers.

Becca Barnet | Artist + Founder, Sisal & Tow

Becca Barnet currently owns and operates Sisal & Tow – a fine fabrication, model-making, props, decor, and taxidermy studio. Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Becca attended the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Illustration, 2009) and the Missouri Taxidermy Institute before moving to New York City to work at the American Museum of Natural History. Becca has done extensive work creating traveling exhibitions - including being a member of the team that created the sixty-foot Mamenchisaurus for "The World's Largest Dinosaurs". In 2011, she moved to Charleston to work for the South Carolina Aquarium and was a lead fabricator in the Madagascar Journey exhibit. Through Sisal & Tow, Becca creates one-of-a-kind natural history-inspired installations for restaurants, offices, and museums in Charleston.

Shana Berger | Co-Director, Coleman Center for the Arts

Shana Berger is an artist, writer, and curator who lives and works in York, Alabama. Driven by the idea that art can play an integral role in realizing positive social change, her work blends modes of art, activism and organizing. She is a founder of Pop Start, a creative social and economic laboratory in downtown York. She currently works as Co-Director of the Coleman Center for the Arts, where she and collaborator Nathan Purath have developed an architecture for creating participatory projects and maintaining a relational framework through which artists and community members collaborate. Shana holds a BFA in photography from Indiana University. Her curatorial and artistic work has been featured in Art Papers Magazine, Art in America, the Huffington Post, the Atlantic Cities, Dwell magazine online, and artnet.com. She is a recipient of an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship and a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

 

Beth M. Bienvenu | Director of the Office of Accessibility, National Endowment for the Arts

Beth Bienvenu is the Director of the Office of Accessibility at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages the NEA's technical assistance and advocacy work devoted to making the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people in institutional settings. She provides guidance and support to state arts agency staff and professionals working the fields of arts access, creativity and aging, arts and health, universal design, and arts in corrections. Prior to coming to the NEA, she worked as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), where she analyzed public and private sector policies and practices related to the employment for people with disabilities. She also served as an adjunct professor for George Mason University’s Master of Arts in Arts Management program, where she taught courses in arts policy and comparative international arts policy, and she has a background in performing arts management. Beth has master's degrees in sociology and arts administration and a doctorate in organizational leadership.

Dan Brawley | Executive Director, Cucalorus Film Festival

Dan Brawley is the executive director of the Cucalorus Film Festival - a creative gathering that takes place in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, every year in November. Cucalorus has been recognized as one of the top film festivals by TIME magazine, MovieMaker magazine, and the Brooks Institute. Dan is the chair of the board for Atlanta-based nonprofit Alternate ROOTS, an organization that supports artists working for social justice. In 2003, Dan founded Wabi Sabi Warehouse and Jengo's Playhouse, a creative compound in downtown Wilmington's Soda Pop District with 12 studios, a microcinema, and a residency program for emerging artists.

 

Caroline Brooks | Program Manager, Sitka Center for Art & Ecology

Caroline Brooks joined the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology as Program Manager in 2012. Founded in 1970, Sitka hosts residencies and workshop in the areas of visual and literary arts, as well as music and ecology. Prior to moving to Oregon, Caroline worked in the museum field in New Mexico for 8 years as the Assistant Director at the Roswell Museum and Art Center where among her programming and curatorial projects she coordinated exhibitions in collaboration with the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. She also served on the board of the New Mexico Association of Museums for 5 years with a focus on increasing communication and networking amongst New Mexico's over 200 museums and cultural organizations. Caroline earned a BFA degree in Sculpture at Western Washington University and has a Master’s degree in Curatorial Studies from Bard College. She has recently re-engaged her studio art practice and started a community ceramics studio with her husband, Ben.

Michaela Pilar Brown | Artist

Michaela Pilar Brown is an image and object maker. She studied sculpture and art history at Howard University, though she has always been a maker of things. Born in Bangor, Maine, and raised in Denver, Colorado, she cut her teeth in the halls of a museum where her mother worked as a security guard and has been immersed in the culture of objects, their making and interpretation ever since. Her current practice explores the body through the prisms of age, gender, race, sexuality, and history. She considers memory, myth, ritual, desire, and the spaces the body occupies within these vignettes. The narratives move between past, present, and surreal projections of the future, sometimes occupying these spaces simultaneously. She makes her home in Columbia, South Carolina.

 

David Bruce | Stateside Liason + Founding Board Member, The Skopelos Foundation for the Arts

David Bruce is a founding board member, current secretary, and long time stateside liaison for the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts. A GMU Studio Art Major alongside founder Gloria Carr, David’s relationship with skopART has been nourishing and inspirational for both himself and the organization. David’s full time jobs have been in the TeleComm industry in a gamut of roles. Having spent seventeen years working with satellites, he has recently come down to Earth now consulting as a project manager installing large-scale terrestrial repeaters for wireless connectivity. David also flexes his photographic muscles whenever he is able - including in support of skopART: documenting the location, various artists, programs and workshops, the growing collection of artwork, and SIFFY: the Skopelos International Film Festival for Youth.

Jennifer Calienes | Independent Consultant + Senior Advisor, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography

Jennifer S.B. Calienes is an independent consultant, currently serving as Senior Advisor for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University. As Founding Director of MANCC (2004-2014), Jennifer developed the nation's first choreographic center, the only such center in the world situated within a research university. Partnering with artists, presenters, residency sites and funders, the Center became a catalyst, model, and acknowledged anchor for contemporary dance makers across the US during a time of great economic uncertainty. Artists who received subsidized research and developmental residencies at MANCC have gone on to present work to communities across the globe and have received widespread recognition. Before coming to MANCC, Jennifer was Program Manager for the National Dance Project and has served as a panelist, chair, and facilitator for programs at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The MAP Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. Jennifer is a founding partner of the Hatchery Project, a multi-year, multi-site developmental residency initiative.

Jennie Carlisle | Production Curator, Elsewhere Artist Collaborative

Jennie Carlisle oversees the residency program and supports artistic process, project production, ideation, and conceptual development at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Additionally, she acts as a liaison between artists and communities and oversees the production of public programs at the museum. She is a curator and art historian focusing on situational aesthetics and radical ampersanding. Jennie received a BA in Anthropology and Biology from Mount Holyoke College in 1999 and completed PhD coursework in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her curatorial projects have included contributions to "More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing", "Counter Lives: Portraiture in Contemporary Art", and "John Wesley's Boeing in Context" at the Ackland Art Museum.

Christina Catanese | Director of Environmental Art, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Christina Catanese oversees all aspects of creating and implementing the rich environmental arts program in gallery spaces and on the Schuylkill Center’s 340 acres of forests and fields, as a complement to other educational programs to inspire meaningful connections with nature. She has identified relevant environmental art engagements and exhibitions and advanced a range of innovative art projects, including LandLab, a new artist residency program where artists explore remediation of environmental issues on the Center’s property in collaboration with scientists, staff, and other experts. Christina brings a strong grounding in both art and science with experience in environmental studies, hydrogeology, experiential education, arts management, and modern dance. Christina has a Masters in Applied Geosciences from the University of Pennsylvania, complementing her BA at Penn in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Prior to the Schuylkill Center, she was a physical scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an instructor at the Brown University Environmental Leadership Lab summer program. Christina has over a decade of experience in creating and managing the performing arts in many contexts. She is the creator and choreographer of many modern dance works, and has performed extensively in the Philadelphia region. She independently produced a modern dance performance in the Philadelphia Fringe festival in 2009 inspired by avant-garde visual art movements, and is also a founding member of Nova Dance Company (Wilmington, DE).

 

Julie Chenot | Program Director, The Camargo Foundation

bio to come...

Sara Coffey | Founder + Director, Vermont Performance Lab

Sara Coffey is the Founder and Director of Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) and has been working in the performing arts field as a manager, programmer, producer, and fundraiser for nearly 25 years. Prior to the founding of VPL in 2006, she worked with MASS MoCA, 651 Arts, Arts International, the Queens Museum of Art, and the Central Park Conservancy. She has managed the dance companies of David Rousseve and Bebe Miller, and performance projects for various artists. Sara has served as an advisor to New England Foundation for the Arts for its Regional Dance Development Initiative in New England, on panel reviews for the Vermont Arts Council, MANCC Fellowship Program, McKnight Choreographic Fellowship, the NEA, and NEFA's National Dance Project, among others. Sara holds an MA in Performance Studies from NYU and a BA in Anthropology and International Studies from Marlboro College and the School for International Training.

Donna Cooper Hurt | Multi-media Artist

Donna Cooper Hurt worked as a documentary and medical photographer before earning an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her art focuses on such themes as history, memory, power structures, and the body. Donna has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, The New Orleans Museum of Art, and The FAC Modern. Donna has been involved with many social justice initiatives and worked with communities throughout Charleston, South Carolina. She collaborated with The Phillips Community in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, which resulted in the community receiving a Greenbelt Urban Grant. Recently Donna was awarded a grant from Alternate ROOTS for a video project addressing white privilege. She is an educator and is currently on sabbatical pursuing her art. She is a Board Member of AZULE.

 

Caroline Crumpacker | Executive Director, The Millay Colony for the Arts

bio to come...

 

Julie Decker | Director + CEO, Anchorage Museum

Julie Decker is the Director/CEO of the Anchorage Museum. She formerly served as the Museum's chief curator. She has also worked as a gallery director and university instructor. Julie has a doctorate in contemporary art history, a master's degree in arts administration, and bachelor degrees in fine arts and journalism. She has authored numerous publication on the art and architecture of the North.

Anna Drozdowski | Director, Neighborhood House

Anna Drozdowski is the Director of Neighborhood House, a secular program of Christ Church in Philadelphia which builds community through live performance on an intimate and historic campus. With Thirdbird, Anna co-curates contemporary composers and choreographers and facilitates global exchanges. She is a facilitator for Artists U, a critical part of her world built on undertakings in cultural production and organizational development. Anna has been a PA Commonwealth Speaker, an executive committee member of Dance/UP/USA and was named a 2011 Creative Connector. She serves on the board of Mascher Space Co-Op and leads the educational arm of Thinking Dance. Her work as a curator, writer, and maker has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance, the DAAD, the NEA Arts Journalism Fellowship at ADF, The CEC, and the Fulbright Program, through which she spent a year in residence at the Royal Danish Ballet. Anna holds an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She enjoys cross-stitching obscenities, dancing tango, and grocery shopping slowly and thinks that showing up and speaking up are important.

Hannah Durack | Program Associate, Performing Arts Program, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Hannah Durack is a Program Associate for the Performing Arts Program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Hannah worked for the Australia Council for the Arts in the program areas of Theatre, Community Partnerships, and International Market Development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Queensland, and worked as an actor and ensemble member in theater, film, and television in Australia.

Sharon Dynak | President, Ucross Foundation

Sharon Dynak has worked at Ucross Foundation for 18 years. She moved from New York City to Ucross, Wyoming (population 25) in 1996 to serve as Ucross Foundation's Residency Director before becoming Executive Director in 2005 and President in 2007. From 1981-1996, Sharon was a book publicist at Scribner, where she handled writers including Annie Proulx, Bob Shacochis, Hanif Kureishi, Reynolds Price, Benjamin Cheever, and Alice Walker. She received a BA in English from Michigan State University in East Lansing, where she worked at independent bookstore, Jocundry's Books. She is a graduate of the Radcliffe College publishing course. During her work at Ucross, Sharon has developed national partnerships with the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, PEN New England, among others. Ucross also partners with PEW Fellowships in the Arts, supporting artists, writers and composers from Philadelphia, and The Ford Family Foundation, supporting visual artists from Oregon. Much of her work has focused on the intersection of arts and science, including participation in the Clear Creek Water Monitoring group, leading an exhibition focused on coalbed methane development and the facilitation of special projects with faculty from the University of Wyoming, University of New Mexico, and Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Linda Earle | Executive Director, New York Arts Program

Linda Earle is the Executive Director of the New York Arts Program (NYAP), an off-campus study program for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students in the visual, performing, and media arts, writing, and journalism. Before joining NYAP she served as the Executive Director of Programs for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, one of the nation’s leading organizations for emerging visual artists. She was a senior Program Director at the New York State Council on the Arts where she served in several discipline areas in the performing and visual arts. The Individual Artists Program at NYSCA was founded under her direction in 1984. She has taught media and cultural studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, Hunter College, and Barnard College and has served on numerous grants and commissioning panels and artist advocacy groups. Linda has worked on independent film, theatre, and film and visual arts curatorial projects over the years. As a writer, she has had residencies at Hedgebrook and the Writers Room. She holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BA in Film Culture from Hampshire College. She serves on the Boards of Poets House, Art Matters, Inclusion in the Arts, and the Alliance of Artists Communities.

Pablo Elliott | Farmer, Marble House Project

Pablo Elliott is Farmer in Residence at Marble House Project, an emerging arts and sustainability community in Dorset, Vermont. He spends most of his time harvesting vegetables for artists and building compost piles with food scraps from artist meals! Prior to Marble House, he farmed for ten years on his family farm in Virginia, managing Stoney Lonesome CSA in Gainesville. He also served as Director of The Local Food Project at Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia, for seven years. In his free time, Pablo enjoys going on hikes with his wife Esther and two boys, because this is what you do in Vermont.

Dave English

Dave English | Manager of Membership + Development, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Dave English is the Manager of Membership + Development at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) as well as an artist and educator. Dave was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Puppetry, after which he spent years traveling the United States looking for a practical application for a Puppetry BFA. Forty states later Dave decided to move to Prague, Czech Republic, to teach English. In 2005 he moved back to Pittsburgh to find an evolved cultural community and supportive living opportunities for artists. Dave co-founded The Schmutz Company in 2007 with Don Orkoskey. With a foundation in puppetry, animation, live performance, and media The Schmutz Company developed into an art education and childhood media firm by 2010. The Schmutz Company received support through a Micro Spark award which catalyzed a successful series of animation workshops featured at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Warhol Museum, Children’s Hospital, Shadyside Boys and Girls Club, the Squirrel Hill JCC and many others. Previous to working at GPAC, Dave worked at The Sprout Fund and in the education department at the Warhol Museum.

 

Melanie Finlayson | Studio Manager, Penland School of Crafts

bio to come...

Omari Fox | Artist, Educator, Executive Committee Member of Alternate ROOTS

Omari Fox is a painter, poet, and educator. He is the founder of BCARTI (Benedict College Art Intelligentsia) as well as New Danger Hip-Hop INKorporated - a visual and performing arts mentorship/activist group. Omari has been involved with Alternate ROOTS since 2004 when he was a Hip Hop Activist Scholarship Recipient, and served as Vice-Chairman of the Board from 2008-2009. A former art teacher on South Carolina’s infamous Corridor of Shame, Omari is now retired and living his art full time. Fox has developed his own unique style of visual art which he has coined HOP Art (short for Hip-Hop Art) - a hybrid of images and text mixed with quotes from public figures, celebrities, and his own detailed rhyme schemes. For Fox, the form is the protest, the activism is the content, but never content with message alone. He is currently a board member of AZULE, an emerging residency program in Hot Springs, North Carolina.

David Fraher

David J. Fraher | Executive Director, Arts Midwest

David Fraher has been executive director of Arts Midwest since January 1984 when he joined the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest and successfully led that organization through a merger with Great Lakes Arts Alliance, forming Arts Midwest in July 1985. Prior to his position at Arts Midwest, David had been the executive director of the Wyoming Council on the Arts and had worked as a consultant for the Western States Arts Foundation in Santa Fe where he designed and developed the Western States Book Awards project. He has been active as a panelist and trustee for numerous arts organizations over the past twelve years, including terms on the boards of Western States Arts Foundation, BOA Publishing, Inc., and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Charitable Trusts. David has a degree in creative writing from SUNY at Brockport, New York and has taken graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens.

Melissa Franklin

Melissa Franklin | Director of Pew Fellowships in the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts + Heritage

Melissa Franklin is the director of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. She has held this position since 1995 and has been with the program as a senior staff member since its inception in 1991. From 2005-2008, Franklin co-managed the LINC Philadelphia project as part of a national initiative that seeks to improve artists’ living and working conditions. She has served as an advisor to several other foundations on implementing programs to support artists directly. She has served on selection panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Arts Council, St. Louis Contemporary Museum of Art’s Great Rivers Biennial Award, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and the Marian Anderson Community and Artist Awards. Franklin was the Advisory Board Chair for Arcadia University Art Gallery and has served on many boards and committees including the City of Philadelphia's 1% for Art Advisory Committee, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Advisory Committee, Vox Populi Gallery Advisory Board among others, and also was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. 

Jim Frost

Jim Frost | Co-Executive Director, Atlantic Center for the Arts

Jim Frost began working in ACA’s program department in 1993 as the Program Assistant after receiving his BA in Art from Stetson University. In concert with ACA’s longtime time residency Driector Nick Conroy, he helped schedule and facilitate the Master Artist-in-Residence Program. In the fall of 2000, Jim took an 18-month sabbatical to pursue a master’s degree in visual arts administration from New York University. During his time in New York, Jim worked as the Graduate Director of the Rosenberg Gallery at NYU, at Mixed Greens Gallery in Chelsea, and was a consultant with the Gershon Benjamin Foundation in New Jersey. He returned to ACA to take a position as Program and Marketing Manager in 2002, where he concentrated on increasing applications and the brand of ACA’s renowned residency program. In addition he developed a robust facility rental/lease program that now contributes nearly 12% to the annual operating budget. With an eye to the future ACA is exploring national artistic partnerships and long term lease agreements. Jim was promoted to Co-Executive Director in February 2011, a position he shares with fellow Co-Executive Director and ACA colleague of 19 years, Nancy Lowden Norman.

Jean-Marie Mauclet

Gwylene Gallimard | President, AZULE

Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet’s collaborations include two French cafes and a series of art installations about the health insurance industry, fast food, homelessness, gentrification and religious beliefs. They have created participatory art and education programs in partnership with a refugee organization. In 2007, their work "I still don't get it: why do they want to be rich without us," a piece on gentrification, was presented at Space One Eleven in Birmingham, Alabama, and the City Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. With "The Future is on the Table #3" project (2004-2008) they assembled artists from different parts of the world and created large-scale installations and events, collaborating with Charleston artists, educators and institutions. In 2009 they created "Olympia" at 701 Contemporary Center for the Arts, and in 2010-2011 they presented "Ten more years on Penn" at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. The duo guided the Alternate ROOTS Charleston Rhizome collaborations of "Switching Roles - Jumping Fences” (2004), "Changing the Beat" (2004), and "You Comin" (2007-2010). In 2012-2013 they were artists in residence at the Mississippi Museum of Art with "The Future is on the Table #4" and their work has received support and recognition from the Ministère De La Culture (France), the South Carolina Arts Commission, Alternate Visions, Spoleto Festival, the Humanities Foundation, the Russell Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Alternate ROOTS, and the National Endowment of the Arts. They are members of Alternate ROOTS and committed to the development of AZULE in Hot Springs, North Carolina.

Mario Garcia Durham

Mario Garcia Durham | President + CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters

In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth president and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters since its founding in 1957. He comes to APAP from the National Endowment for the Arts where he was Director of Artist Communities and Presenting. At the NEA, Mario was a contributing team member of such programs as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama, the NEA Opera Honors, and he inaugurated the Artist Communities granting program. After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees. Mario has previously served on numerous boards including Galeria de la Raza and APAP’s board and executive committee. He is currently a board member of the Alliance of Artist Communities and the National Center for Creative Aging and is board chair of the Performing Arts Alliance.  

Cindy Gehrig

Cindy Gehrig | President, Jerome Foundation; President Camargo Foundation

Cindy Gehrig is President of the Jerome Foundation, a private foundation that makes grants in the arts in Minnesota and New York City. She joined the Foundation 37 years ago as a Program Associate, and has served as its Executive since 1978. Cindy has served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, serving as both Vice-Chair and Chair. She was Chair of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national affiliation of grantmakers interested in arts philanthropy. She is also President of the Camargo Foundation, an operating Foundation that supports scholarly and artistic work through subsidized fellowship residencies at a work-study center in Cassis, France. She served on the Board of The Independent Television Service, and chaired the Board of Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota. Cindy currently serves on the Boards of the Minnesota Humanities Center, Alliance of Artists Communities, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. 

Beth Gill

Beth Gill | Choreographer + Dancer

Beth Gill has been making contemporary dance and performance in New York City since 2005. Her body of work critically examines issues within the fields of contemporary dance and performance studies, through a focused exploration of aesthetics and perception. Beth has been commissioned by New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, and Dance Theater Workshop. Her performances have toured nationally and internationally including: Fusebox (Texas), The Nazareth College Dance Festival (New York), and Dance Umbrella (UK). She is a 2013-2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellow and a 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship recipient. In 2012 Dance Magazine named her one of the top 25 artists to watch. In 2011 she was awarded two New York State Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards for "Outstanding Emerging Choreographer" and the "Juried Award for the choreographer exhibiting some of the most interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today". Beth is one of seven choreographers profiled in Michael Blackwood’s documentary New York Dance: States of Performance. She began her dance training with Rose Marie Menes and Tami Horowitz at the Westchester Ballet Center as well as the New York State Summer School of the Arts where she trained with Carolyn Adams and Julie Strandberg. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been a guest artist and teacher at universities and festivals nationally. 

Ain Gordon | Artist

Ain Gordon is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer, director, and actor, a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts recipient, and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting. Ain's work has previously been commissioned, developed, and presented by New York Theater Workshop, Soho Rep, The Public Theatre, 651 ARTS, Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Kitchen Theatre, and HERE Arts Center; the Mark Taper Forum, the George Street Playhouse, MASS MoCA, the Baltimore Museum of Art, DiverseWorks, Spirit Square, VSA North Fourth Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow, LexArts, and Dance Space, among others. Ain appeared in the original Off-Broadway cast of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell and wrote for NBC's "Will & Grace". Ain is a former Core Writer of the Playwright's Center and was the inaugural Visiting Artist at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. He is currently a Resident Artist at The Hermitage. Ain is Co-Founder of the Urban Memory Project and has been Co-Director of the Pick Up Performance Co(s) since 1992.

Kim Graham | Vice President of Community Engagement for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership

Kim Graham is the Vice President of Community Engagement for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. - the leading affordable housing developer in the Charlotte region - overseeing community revitalization and development efforts, arts collaboratives, resident leadership development, and neighborhood marketing initiatives. Kim manages critical partnerships with national and local organizations including NeighborWorks America and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. These partnerships have resulted in the first environmental art installations within the 100-acre BrightWalk campus, public art being slated for the Statesville Avenue Corridor and a renovation of Anita Stroud Park. Kim holds a BA from Johnson C. Smith University where she studied public policy abroad as both a Woodrow Wilson and Carnegie Mellon Fellow. She also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration, Urban Management and Policy, from UNC Charlotte.

 

Jamie Gregory | Underwriter - Fine Art & Museums, Markel Specialty Programs

Jamie Gregory - an arts organization insurance underwriter for Markel Corporation - began his career in Los Angeles at the tender age of 25 by insuring high-value artworks and movie stars wearing borrowed jewelry to award ceremonies. Ten years, several continental moves, and one child later, he has developed a grounded expertise in all areas of risk that nonprofits devoted to the arts encounter. Jamie has shared this expertise with the Connecticut League of Historic Organizations and the Virginia Museum of Art’s Statewide Partners Program, and looks forward to offering his insight to the Alliance of Artists Communities on exposures to risk involving property, art, liability, auto and volunteers.

Esther Grisham Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts

Esther Grimm's lifelong career in the arts spans administration, museum education, arts education, and philanthropy. She is the Executive Director of 3Arts, a nonprofit grantmaking organization dedicated to supporting women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts in Chicago through unrestricted grants, residency fellowships, project support, and advocacy. Esther has worked as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor since 1990, with reviews and features in a variety of magazines, exhibition catalogues, book projects, and gallery guides. She authored six children’s non-fiction, art-activity books focusing on the art of ancient and living cultures. Currently, she serves on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities and The Hypocrites. She is also a member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Individual Artist Support Committee. In 2013, she founded the Local Artist Funders Group, an active cohort of ten Chicago funders who support individual artists. Esther is also a flute player.

Camela Guevara | Charleston Supported Art Co-founder; Artist, Redux Contemporary Art Center

Camela Guevara is a studio artist at Redux Contemporary Art and a seamstress. She enjoys adding tiny beads to fabric and sewing thoughtful garments. She also contributes to the fashion and art blog, Gemsounds.com.

Gia Hamilton

Gia Hamilton | Director, Joan Mitchell Center

Gia Hamilton was named Director of the Joan Mitchell Center - an artist residency and community space in New Orleans under the umbrella of the Joan Mitchell Foundation - in 2013 after serving as a consultant since 2011. Hamilton, a New Orleans native, received her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from New York University and her master’s degree in applied anthropology from CUNY Graduate Center. She worked in the northeast before returning to her native city in 2009, when she established a consulting group, the Gris Gris Lab, and worked with nonprofit organizations as a trainer, organizer, facilitator and independent curator.

 

Al Head | Executive Director, Alabama State Council on the Arts

Al Head has worked in the state arts field for over 42 years beginning with the Fine Arts Council of Florida, and continuing through executive director positions with the Stephen Foster Folklife Center, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He has served his home state of Alabama for the past twenty-nine years as the Council’s director. Al earned his undergraduate degree from Troy State University in art history and aesthetics, and his Master of Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Southern literature, from Auburn University at Montgomery. He received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1974 to attend Harvard’s Arts Administration Institute. He has served two terms on the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies board participating in a wide range of committee work. He has been a member of the South Arts board for 37 years and presided as its chair 1983-85. Al currently serves on the Alabama Humanities Foundation Board and the Advisory Board of the Alabama Department of Tourism. He has served on numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and has chaired the Folk Arts and Arts in Education panels. In 1998 he received the Gary Young Award presented by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies for his leadership and achievements in promoting the arts nationally. Al is the only state arts director to start folk arts programs in three states: Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama. He is a native of Troy, Alabama.

Cammie Hill-Prewitt

Cammie Hill-Prewitt | Residency Coordinator, A Studio in the Woods

Before moving to New Orleans to pursue a Masters degree in Art History at Tulane, Residency Coordinator Cammie Hill-Prewitt was the Program Manager at ArtSpan, producer of San Francisco Open Studios. Passionate about the arts, she has worked in non-profits for more than ten years. She started working at A Studio in the Woods in 2007 and enjoys finding new ways to bring the arts to the Greater New Orleans community and to students of all ages. A Studio in the Woods is committed to supporting artists engaging the public in critical dialogue about the environment. Part of Cammie's job is to facilitate access to the resources and contacts that artists need to create risk-taking new work during their residencies.

Makoto Hirano | Founding Company Member, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation

Makoto Hirano is an award-winning Philadelphia-based choreographer, writer, and performer as well as a facilitator for Artists U. His original solo and ensemble dance-theatre works have been presented nationally by venues and festivals including Yale University, Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre (Pittsburgh), National Asian American Theater Festival, and Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. As a successful freelance performer-collaborator, Hirano has worked on critically acclaimed projects as The Happiness Lecture (Bill Irwin / Philadelphia Theatre Co.), Love Unpunished and PAY UP (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Wandering Alice (Nichole Canuso Dance Company), Still Unknown (Subcircle), WHaLE OPTICS (Thaddeus Phillips/Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental), and is a founding company-member of Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (Punchkapow; Zombie Defense Consultations; JapanAmerica Wonderwave; The Sincerity Project). A former US Marine, Makoto earned his BFA in Dance at Temple University, makes a mean stirfry, and understands hospitality in a way that is part of his DNA.

Lisa Hoffman | Associate Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Lisa oversees programs and strategic initiatives, community engagement, and the flagship Environmental Program at McColl Center. Prior to joining McColl Center, she served as Director of Charlotte Nature Museum, and held positions as a science educator and mentor with the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County Maryland Public Schools. Honored for her dedication in connecting children and families to the natural world, she is also committed to place-based education and the improvement of schools in marginalized communities. The recipient of Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, Lisa has served on the board of North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers, North Carolina Play Alliance, and regularly participates as a speaker at various community and national events including National Innovation Summit for Arts and Culture. Holding an MS degree in Biology and a BS degree in Botany from Howard University in Washington, DC, Lisa is dedicated to social practice and the convergence of art and science as a vehicle to improve lives and effect systemic change.

Stacy Huggins | Executive Director, Redux Contemporary Art Center

Stacy Huggins is the Executive Director of Redux Contemporary Art Center. She served as Vice President of the Board of Redux for a year-and-a-half before joining the Redux team full time. Previously, Stacy was Editor of Art Mag and the Gallery Director at Charleston Renaissance Gallery and Carolina Galleries. Originally from New Bern, North Carolina, Stacy moved to Charleston in 2001 to attend the College of Charleston, where she studied art history and dance. Stacy is a co-founder of Charleston Supported Art; regularly contributes to Art Mag’s editorials; serves on the Spoleto SCENE steering committee, in support of Spoleto Festival USA; and is an organizer for Pecha Kucha Charleston.

Ra Joy | Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

Ra Joy is a civic entrepreneur who views community and economic development through an arts and culture lens. As Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, a statewide arts advocacy network, Ra sets and implements the organization's strategic goals, manages its operations, and serves as the principal spokesperson. Prior to joining Arts Alliance Illinois in 2007, Ra served as a senior aide to U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, specializing in community and economic development issues. Ra was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago's class of 2005 and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Known for promoting cross-sector collaboration and civic engagement, Ra serves on numerous advisory boards and commissions at the local, state, and federal level. In October of 2011, Ra was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as a member of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council. In March 2013, Ra was tapped by Governor Pat Quinn to launch the Illinois Creative Economy Initiative, a statewide effort that seeks to leverage Illinois’ creative assets to grow jobs, strengthen the workforce, and build more vibrant communities.

Jason Kalajainen | Executive Director, Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago

Jason served as the Executive Director of Ox-Bow from 2005-2012 and was named Executive Director of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago in 2013. As strong advocates of art education and appreciation throughout the greater Chicago area, Luminarts creates and conducts competitions in visual arts, jazz and classical music, and creative writing for Chicago’s most talented young artists. Prior to joining Ox-Bow Kalajainen was the Executive Director of the Holland Area Arts Council in Holland, Michigan, and Director of Education for the Ann Arbor Art Center. Kalajainen graduated from Westminster College in Pennsylvania with BA in Political Science and Studio Art and has a Masters in Non Profit/Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Mason Street Warehouse Theater, Holland Michigan’s Downtown Development Authority, and the Alliance of Artists Communities.

Brad Kik | Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design/ISLAND

Brad Kik's life has been a campaign against specialization. Pursuing film study, environmental activism, graphic design, community organizing, woodworking, chicken raising, music, ecology and permaculture, Brad found a way to focus his multiple interests by adding a new one. In 2005, he fell in love with his partner Amanda and, with her, co-founded and now co-directs ISLAND. Brad's role with ISLAND involves developing the farmstead, telling the story of ISLAND using graphic design, writing and awesome powerpoints, as well as managing staff and spending way too much time on the computer.

D.S. Kinsel | Artist; Program Coordinator & National Social Media Coordinator, MGR Youth Empowerment Arts in Action; Co-Founder, BOOM Concepts

D.S. Kinsel is a creative entrepreneur and arts administrator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He expresses his creativity through the mediums of painting, installation, curating, action-painting, and social media. As a recipient of The Pittsburgh Foundation's Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Grant, he served as the resident artist at 720 Cafe, Music, and Clothing, where D.S. provided the boutique with creative support while producing commercial based print-work and window displays. He is currently a resident artist with Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery and was awarded the Artist Opportunity Grant from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to support this residency. D.S. is the co-founder of BOOM Concepts, a combination work space/creative hub which, in addition to hosting his studio space and Jenesis’ production facilities, aims to be a gallery, performance and gathering space. Since 2011, D.S. has served as the MGR Pittsburgh Youth Empowerment Arts in Action Program Coordinator & MGR National Social Media Coordinator. He works with youth, community artists, and community partners to identify ways for youth to express issues of social justice through drama, dance, music, visual art, and technology. As the National Social Media Coordinator, D.S. collects content from MGR's initiatives in Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Chicago. He regularly provides training to non-profits on best practices around utilizing social media to become a stronger presence within the community.

Eric Kocher | Director, Artist-in-Residence Program, HUB-BUB

Eric Kocher is currently the director of the Artist-in-Residence Program at HUB-BUB in Spartanburg, SC. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and has taught literature and composition at Wofford College and the University of South Carolina Upstate. Some of his poetry has recently appeared in A Public Space, Best New Poets, Better Magazine, Boston Review, and [PANK].

Ken Lambla | Dean + Professor, College of Arts and Architecture, UNC Charlotte

Ken Lambla is Dean of the College of Architecture, UNC Charlotte, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. He received his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Kansas, and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His career in both education and practice is focused on architecture as community development and advocates social responsibility, craft, and innovation. He has taught throughout the US, the United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands, France, and Canada. He has worked as an architect and urban designer in Belfast (Northern Ireland), Chicago, San Francisco, and during his tenure at UNC Charlotte throughout North Carolina. Ken's research focuses on social histories of housing projects.

Claudia La Rocco | Writer + Cultural Critic

Claudia La Rocco's recent and ongoing collaborations include projects with the performance company Findlay/Sandsmark, the sound artist Martijn Tellinga, and the composer Phillip Greenlief. Claudia founded thePerformanceClub.org, which won a 2011 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and focuses on criticism as a literary art form. A member of the Off the Park poetry press and the Poetry Project board, she contributes frequently to The New York Times and Artforum.com. She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts' graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing, and teaches at such institutions as Princeton University, Arizona State University, and Movement Research. Claudia is a research fellow for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and documenter/evaluator for The Hatchery Project. She has had residencies at Mount Tremper Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space on Governors Island. A book of her selected writings will be published by Badlands Unlimited in Fall 2014.

Helene Larsson Pousette | Head of Events Unit - Department for Intercultural Dialogue, Swedish Institute

Helene Larsson Pousette currently serves as the Head of Events Units at the Swedish Institute's Department for Intercultural Dialogue, where she is responsible for promoting Swedish culture abroad and developing international exchange programs. Between 2009-2012 she served as the Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, Serbia, working with public and culture diplomacy, building long-term relationships and mutual exchange within culture and arts. At the moment she represents Sweden in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as well as the Advisory Board for the development of Mentorship programs in Serbia. For several years she was curator and project manager at the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions and at the Historical Museums in Stockholm, creating interdisciplinary exhibitions combining culture heritage and contemporary arts. She holds a BA in Ethnology and her practice focuses on contemporary society and the relationship between art performance, history and memory. Helene held a position at the board of the Swedish ICOM and the ICEE - International Council for Exhibition Exchange and served on the board of The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. She is a frequent lecturer, author of numerous articles, and the editor of the publication This is not a Report – Cultural Exchange Sweden/Serbia 2009-2012 and co-editor of The Museum as Forum and Actor (2010).

Wayne Lawson | Director Emeritus, Ohio Arts Council; Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities

Wayne P. Lawson has been a pivotal figure in arts leadership across the state of Ohio. For nearly 30 years, Wayne served as the fourth executive director of the Ohio Arts Council. Following his retirement in 2006, he continued his fervent support for the arts by serving as a professor of public policy and arts administration at The Ohio State University, advising the Greater Columbus Arts Council on strategic initiatives, and volunteering on a number of arts and cultural boards. Wayne is Chair of the Alliance of Artists Communities; a trustee of the Columbus Museum of Art; a trustee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; a trustee of the Pizzuti Collection Museum and an advisory member of the Short North Stage in Columbus, Ohio, and a member of the National Women's Museum Advisory committee in Santiago, Chile. He has been on many program panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, served a three-year term as chairman of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and completed three terms as chairman of Arts Midwest. In 2011 he was awarded the Irma Lazarus Award from the Governor of Ohio. He has also received the Gary Young Award for outstanding leadership in arts administration from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and was honored by the Association of American Cultures for leadership and commitment to the development of cultural diversity in the arts. In 2009, Wayne was the first American to be recognized by the Chilean National Council for Culture and the Arts with a Medal of Arts for his professional commitment to cultural collaborations between Ohio and Chile.

Catherine Lee | Assistant Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio

Catherine Lee has been the assistant director of Bamboo Curtain Studio since 2011. After she received her Masters degree in Museum Science Program at Texas Tech University, she served as the project manager on community museums at the National Development Initiative Institute (2003-2004, Taipei) and as the executive secretary at the National Science and Technology Museum (2004-2011, Kaohsiung). She participated in the project “Art as Environment: A Cultural Action at Plum Tree Creek” as the education coordinator in the program “There is a river in front of my school” at Bamboo Curtain Studio. Since then she has collaborated with curators, artists, designers, researchers, historians, scientists, ecological experts, environmental activists, and community groups who are dedicated to environmental issues through cultural actions. Catherine has also participated in several long-term projects at Bamboo Curtain Studio, including: Residency and Exchange Program in Bamboo Curtain Studio, Web Platform and Research on Artists Residency and Mobility in Taiwan, and Strategic Planning and Implementation of Creative City, Taipei.

Melissa Levin | Director of Cultural Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Melissa Levin joined Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in 2005 and is the Director of Cultural Programs, overseeing the organization's Artist Residencies and Public Programming that take an innovative and holistic approach to supporting artists in all disciplines. Previous to LMCC, Melissa held positions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Artforum International Magazine. She has participated in panel discussions and juries at the National Endowment for the Arts, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, the Alliance of Artists Communities, Rhode Island School of Design, Baruch College, Lower East Side Print Shop, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; and lectured at the University of Oregon, Eugene, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New York University, Parsons: The New School for Design, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. As a curator and writer, she has worked with MoMA PS1, Real Art Ways in Hartford, Culturehall.com, NurtureArt, Cuchifritos Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and Taylor De Cordoba Gallery in Los Angeles. Melissa received a BA with honors in Visual Art and Art History from Barnard College.

 

Arleta Little | Arts Program Officer, McKnight Foundation

bio to come...

 

Sandra Liu | Program Officer, Asian Cultural Council

Sandra Liu joined the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) in 2012 and has served as a Program Officer since 2013. Working for ACC - an organization that creates exchange opportunities for artists - is genuinely rewarding and she enjoys her relationships with grantees, helping them to realize their program goals, and connecting them with specialists in and beyond their fields. Cultural exchange factors deeply in her personal and professional lives, as she has lived and worked across five continents, as well as in diverse disciplines such as audit, book conservation and poetry. She has held previous positions in the United States Arctic Research and Antarctic Programs, and the Economist Group’s editorial arm in Hong Kong.

Beth Malone | Founding Executive Director, Dashboard Co-op

Beth Malone is Founding Executive Director of Dashboard Co-op, an award-winning curatorial venture that activates raw space with immersive art. Dashboard is praised for its neighborhood revitalization efforts and curatorial vision by WABE, Business Insider, HGTV, Hyperallergic, ArtsATL.com, Atlanta Regional Commission, and others. In 2012, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation selected it as a Seed Grant Recipient. Dashboard appears in numerous "Best of Atlanta" lists and Beth was labeled a "Person to Watch" by Creative Loafing. Additionally, Beth is an independent curator whose 2012 exhibition, 100,000 Cubicle Hours, at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center was recognized by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Beth was selected for Independent Curators International's Curatorial Intensive in New York. In 2011, Beth started the Teen Program at the High Museum of Art, which now spreads across the Woodruff Art Center's campus. Beth holds a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow.

 

Victoria Marks | Choreographer + Dancer

bio to come...

Jean-Marie Mauclet

Jean-Marie Mauclet | Artist, Secretary of AZULE

Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet’s collaborations include two French cafes and a series of art installations about the health insurance industry, fast food, homelessness, gentrification and religious beliefs. They have created participatory art and education programs in partnership with a refugee organization. In 2007, their work "I still don't get it: why do they want to be rich without us," a piece on gentrification, was presented at Space One Eleven in Birmingham, Alabama, and the City Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. With "The Future is on the Table #3" project (2004-2008) they assembled artists from different parts of the world and created large-scale installations and events, collaborating with Charleston artists, educators and institutions. In 2009 they created "Olympia" at 701 Contemporary Center for the Arts, and in 2010-2011 they presented "Ten more years on Penn" at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. The duo guided the Alternate ROOTS Charleston Rhizome collaborations of "Switching Roles - Jumping Fences” (2004), "Changing the Beat" (2004), and "You Comin" (2007-2010). In 2012-2013 they were artists in residence at the Mississippi Museum of Art with "The Future is on the Table #4" and their work has received support and recognition from the Ministère De La Culture (France), the South Carolina Arts Commission, Alternate Visions, Spoleto Festival, the Humanities Foundation, the Russell Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Alternate ROOTS, and the National Endowment of the Arts. They are members of Alternate ROOTS and committed to the development of AZULE in Hot Springs, North Carolina.

Ken May | Executive Director, South Carolina Arts Commission

Ken May is Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, where he has served in several positions since 1985. He has been a panelist and site-visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts; a panelist, presenter, consultant, and facilitator for national, state, and local arts organizations; and a guest lecturer in the arts administration programs at the College of Charleston and Winthrop University. He is a member of the board and current treasurer of South Arts (formerly Southern Arts Federation), serves as treasurer of the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance board, and is an active alumnus of the Diversity Leaders Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman University. Before beginning his career in arts administration, he worked in the for-profit world, holding positions with ARA Services Magazine and Book Division and McGraw-Hill. Prior to his long sojourn in the realm of day jobs, Ken worked as a professional musician. He received undergraduate and master’s degrees in music history and musicology from Florida State University.

Susan Meier | Principal, Meier and Associates

Susan Meier is a senior governance consultant for BoardSource and the principal at Meier & Associates. From 2004 to 2011, Susan served as the vice president of consulting and training for BoardSource. She has spent more than 23 years in governance and nonprofit work, working collaboratively with nonprofit executives and board members to identify governance challenges and opportunities and to implement proven strategies to address a broad array of governance issues. Much of Susan’s work has focused on increasing board engagement, board/staff relations, and leadership transitions. Specifically, she engages boards in a deeper understanding of roles and responsibilities, strategic and generative thinking, concrete ways to maximize board meetings, and addressing culture and dynamics in the boardroom. Susan has served as faculty for the Kellogg School of Management Nonprofit Executive Education program, the George Washington University, and the Issues in Nonprofit Governance Conference hosted by Georgetown Law, the IRS and Independent Sector. In addition, Susan has served on a number of boards of directors and currently serves on the Ripon College Board of Trustees. She graduated cum laude from Ripon College.

Dana Morrison | Artist-in-Residence Program Manager, Facebook

Dana Morrison is the Artist-in-Residence Program Manager at Facebook. Previously, she worked as a museum educator in the Public Programs department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her work there involved managing the artist-in-residence programs, as well as all Public Programs interns. She came to San Francisco from Ohio where she graduated with BA in Art History and Journalism from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MA in Arts Administration and Public Policy from The Ohio State University in Columbus. Dana's work focuses on artist residencies, incorporating the Maker movement into museums, and public participation in museums and galleries.

Erin Glaze Nathanson | Arts Director + Curator, Charleston Supported Art, LLC

Erin Glaze Nathanson is an arts director and curator. A graduate of the College of Charleston, Erin planned and curated exhibitions for the City of Charleston’s City Gallery at Waterfront Park for nearly five years. Directly following, she was retained to create the foundation and serve as the Arts & Cultural Relations Director for the ArtFields 2013/2014 art competition in Lake City, South Carolina, which features 400+ artists from across the Southeast. Erin is currently the co-founder and owner of Charleston Supported Art, LLC, which fosters relationships between buyers and artists while supporting the creation of new work.

AnneTrabue Watson Nelson | Visual Arts + General Programming Coordinator, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department

AnneTrabue Watson Nelson became the Visual Arts & General Programming Coordinator for the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department in 2012. Anne facilitates city's public art program, offers artist assistance, develops performing arts programming, and manages visual art competitions and exhibitions, including the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition, North Charleston City Gallery, and African American Fiber Art Exhibition. AnneTrabue plays an active role in the local arts community by serving as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Redux Contemporary Art Center and Steering Committee member for TEDxCharleston. She also connects emerging and established artists and collectors as a co-founder of Charleston Supported Art, LLC. Prior to her position with the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, she worked as the Marketing Director of PURE Theatre and as the Assistant Director and Graphic Designer for Martin Gallery in Downtown Charleston.

Michael Orlove | Artist Communities, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works Director and International Activities Coordinator, National Endowment for the Arts

Michael Orlove was named Director of Artists Communities, Presenting and Multidisciplinary Works for the National Endowment for the Arts in 2012. In October 2013, Michael also took over the NEA's International Activities. Previously, Orlove spent 19 years as senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His tenure with the department led to nearly two decades of innovation, creativity and passion for public service with the City of Chicago. Orlove helped transform the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime downtown performing arts venue, as well as launched Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, two staples in the summer festival season. Orlove also served as the director of music programming in Millennium Park since its grand opening in 2004 and helped establish many of the program series at that venue. Honors include being named one of the 'Chicagoans of the Year' in music by the Chicago Tribune in both 1999 and 2009, as well as one of Chicago's 'Global Visionaries' by Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and the Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago.

La'Sheia Oubre | Educator + Community Specialist

La'Sheia Oubre is a retired Exceptional Education Teacher in the Charleston County Schools, a social justice activist, and member of Charleston Rhizome and Alternate ROOTS. She has participated in many documentaries with Charleston Rhizome at the US Social Forums and the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Africa.

Karen L. Paty | Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts

Karen L. Paty has been working in the arts and community development for more than fifteen years and was hired as executive director of Georgia Council for the Arts in 2011. Karen has traveled throughout Georgia to engage, educate and excite audiences about the arts by speaking at events such as the Georgia Forward Conference, the Georgia Southern University Creative Economies Conference, the Atlanta Foundation Centers’ Nonprofit Issues Forum and many others. As the agency’s first hired director she has executed multiple programs including guidance of an annual Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities, inclusion of the arts in several Tourism initiatives such as the Tourism Product Development grant, and development of, “The Art of Georgia,” Georgia Council for the Arts’ first exhibit featuring the work of state artists at the Capitol. She led the creation and implementation of a new five-year strategic plan that redefined the agency’s mission and goals to better provide an opportunity for the arts to become an integral part of the lives of all Georgians. Karen was named one of the 2013 “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine. Prior to her work at Georgia Council for the Arts, Karen worked as the associate director of civic engagement at Hands On Atlanta. She is a graduate of New York University, where she was also a recipient of the university’s President’s Award for Service.

Carla Peterson

Carla Peterson | Director, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography/MANCC

Carla Peterson began as the new Director of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography in May of 2014, after more than 20 years of service and leadership in the New York dance and performance community. Peterson most recently served as the Artistic Director of New York Live Art. From 1993 to 1996, she served at Dance Theater Workshop as both Managing Director of the National Performance Network and Director of The Suitcase Fund, an international artists exchange program. From 1988 to 1993, she was the Assistant Performing Arts Director at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. She has held numerous positions in freelance arts consulting, fundraising, and management working for national service organizations and for progressive artists, and for such foundations as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Surdna Foundation. Peterson continues to serve on numerous national panels. In 2005, she was awarded a "Bessie" (New York Dance and Performance Award) in recognition of her leadership of Movement Research and her dedication to the dance community. She currently serves on the boards of Movement Research and Mount Tremper Arts, and on the Steering Committee of the NY Dance and Performance Awards, under the auspices of DanceNYC. She holds an MFA from the Ohio State University and a BS from the University of Illinois. She was made a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Des Lettres in 2012 by the French government.

Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs + Presentation, Gibney Dance

Craig T. Peterson has twenty years of experience as a curator, cultural organizer, and programmer of contemporary performing arts. Craig is the previous Co-Artistic Director of the Dance Theater Workshop (now known as New York Live Arts), one of America’s preeminent contemporary performing arts institutions based in New York City. After moving to Philadelphia in 2009, Craig launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a program of FringeArts, designed to support artistic research, development, and presentation. For three years he was the director and producer of the annual Philly Fringe Festival, a three-week city-wide festival featuring the work of more than 150 performing artists and companies. Craig recently returned to NYC to join the staff of Gibney Dance as the Director of Programs and Presentation.

Heather Pontonio | Program Officer for Art, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

Heather Pontonio is the Program Officer for Art at the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation where she oversees the Marketplace Empowerment for Artists grant program that supports professional practice training for visual artists across the nation through arts organizations and university MFA courses. Heather also manages the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award, supporting innovation and experimentation at the curatorial level. Her previous role as Associate Vice President of Grants at the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg included managing multiple grant programs for organizations and individual artists. She began her career in New York City where she worked with The Irish Repertory Theatre and The Little Orchestra Society in a variety of roles including development, membership, marketing, and box office management. Heather received her Bachelor’s in Arts Administration from State University of New York at Fredonia and her Master’s in Public Administration from New York University. She currently serves on the board of the Bethel Education Foundation and is a member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Support for Individual Artists Steering Committee.

Molly Rideout | Co-Director, Grin City Collective

A fiction and non-fiction writer, Molly Rideout is the Co-Director of Grin City Collective and former Director of the Grinnell Area Arts Council. She joined Grin City in early 2011 to build the once summer program to a full-time residency. As a writer, Molly focuses largely on themes of the rural Midwest and collective living. Her story "The Great River Road" won the Henry York Steiner Memorial Prize for Short Fiction and was published in Ice Cube Press's Prairie Gold Anthology in 2014. Other publications include WarBing magazine, Grinnell Review, and the Wisconsin State Journal.

 

Shey Rivera Ríos | Director of Programs, AS220

Shey Rivera Ríos is a multi-genre artist and Director of Programs at AS220, an internationally-renowned cultural center in Providence, Rhode Island. Her work takes the form of mixed media installation, music, poetry, performance, and video. She is part of the performance duo ISLANDS, with artist Jason Curzake. Along with Curzake and artist/poet Sussy Santana, she launched the Fluxus Moon Cabaret series in 2013, featuring the work of 20 artists from diverse media. Shey is a founding member of the Latina feminist poetry collective Las Tenoras and her artwork has been featured in Puerto Rico, Boston, and throughout Rhode Island. Her literary work has been published in several publications, including the first Queer Puerto Rican literary anthology, Los otros cuerpos: Antología de temática gay, lésbica y 'queer' desde Puerto Rico y su diáspora ("The Other Bodies: Anthology of Gay, Lesbian and Queer Literature from Puerto Rico and its Diaspora"). Shey is the founder of Crudo, an independent arts and culture digital magazine focused on contemporary Latin-American art and culture. She specializes in arts management and is a strong advocate for artists as critical agents of change in society, as well as the value of artist-run organizations. 

Aurora Robson | Environmental Artist in Residence, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Aurora Robson is an artist largely known for her transformative work intercepting the waste stream. Aurora was born in Toronto in 1972, grew up in Hawaii, and has lived in New York for the past two decades. Aurora has exhibited internationally. She earned a BA in art and art history at Columbia University, was named the Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Doenges Scholar in 2013 and the Artplace America Environmental Artist in Residence in 2014. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Green Building + Design and many other publications. She is a recipient of the Pollock Krasner Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, a TED/Lincoln Re-Imagine Prize and many other awards. As the founding artist of Project Vortex (an international collective of artists, designers and architects also working with plastic debris) Aurora is also developing a college course called “Sculpture + Intercepting the Waste Stream” that provides a platform for creative environmental stewardship.

Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, The Hermitage Artists Retreat

Bruce Rodgers is the founding executive director of the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key in Englewood, Florida. He is a musician, writer, producer, playwright and author and his work has been produced at major regional professional theatres throughout the US and in Europe. In 1984, Bruce was named a "Distinguished Artist of the State of New Jersey." In 1990 his play Lost Electra won the prestigious Rosenthal New Play Prize at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where it was produced. It saw many subsequent productions around the US including at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida. In 1992, the Asolo commissioned him to write the very successful Centerberg Tales based on Robert McCloskey's "Homer Price" short storis. Bruce' play, The Gravity of Honey has been produced around the US as well as in Dublin and Paris, as well as at the Asolo in 1995. From 1993-2004 he served as the Associate Artistic Director of the Asolo Theatre Company. In the 1980s he was a resident playwright at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey, and a creative consultant to Fortune 500 corporations throughout the US. He has been the Executive Director of the Hermitage since 2005. 

Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods, Tulane University

Ama Rogan is the Managing Director of A Studio in the Woods at Tulane University, an artist residency centered on creative and innovative responses to environmental themes. Ama earned a BFA in Painting from RISD in 1988 and had a professional art practice until 2000 working in a variety of media including printmaking, ceramics and mixed media. In 2001 she joined the fledgling board of A Studio in the Woods and founded the program committee that oversaw the development of the Studio’s signature residency program. In 2004 she became Managing Director at the Studio and, recognizing the opportunity to focus residencies on pressing environmental themes, she spearheaded the transition of the program to the international recognized leader in ecological residencies that it is today. Ama is dedicated to supporting artists and facilitating creative projects that address environmental issues with imagination, power and resourcefulness.  

Brian Rogers | Artistic Director, The Chocolate Factory Theater

Brian Rogers is a director, video and sound artist. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of The Chocolate Factory Theater, which supports the creation of theater, dance, music, and multimedia performances at its 5,000-square-foot facility in Queens. Since 1997, Brian has conceived and/or directed numerous large scale performances at The Chocolate Factory including Hot Box the Bessie-nominated Selective Memory. In addition to his own work, Brian curates The Chocolate Factory's Visiting Artist Program which supports the work of more than 100 theater, dance, music and multimedia artists each year. As a video, sound and performance artist, Brian has collaborated with numerous dance and theater artists including Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty, Aynsley Vandenbroucke, Tara O'Con, Jillian Sweeney, and the Movement Research Spring 2008 Festival. He presented his first solo exhibition of new video works in November 2012 at Ventana 244 Gallery in Brooklyn; self-released an album of electronic music in September 2013; and is collaborating on a new performance by Irish dance artists Emma Fitzgerald and Aine Stapleton at the Project Arts Center in Dublin in September 2014.

 

Alison Russo | Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center

bio to come...

 

Jay Salinas | Co-Director, Wormfarm Institute

bio to come...

Alysia Savoy | Program Manager, The DISTILLERY Artist Residency

Alysia Savoy is an arts administrator who was born and raised in New Orleans and gained her background in artist management and record label operations in New York City, working with artists and organizations based all over the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. In New Orleans, she has worked with local ensembles, in development, marketing, and production management; She has served as the Performance Coordinator for the New Orleans Fringe Festival, is Program Manager for The DISTILLERY Artist Residency, taking place this summer at the Contemporary Arts Center, and is a candidate for a Masters in Arts Administration at the University of New Orleans.

 Margaret Shiu

Margaret Shiu | Founder, Bamboo Curtain Studio

Margaret Shiu is the founder and director of Taiwan's Bamboo Curtain Studio - a residency program as well as an international cultural exchange research and international facilitation portal. The studio works on the promotion of public and private support for international exchange. As a residency leader, the studio manages the Ministry of Culture bilingual international residency portal, and Margaret serves as a regional representative of TransCulture Exchange. Her vision is to promote art and culture as vital components for global understanding and local sustainability, by sharing, collaborating and co-creating new practices. With Local Action: Global Connection as the mission for the past 19 years, Margaret has worked to discover and support artistic talents by providing artists with the time and space for creative incubation. She also works closely with the Taipei city government on cultural space policies - in particular, creative city policies for creative talents support.

Ann Simmons | Charleston Supported Art Co-founder; Marketing + Development Coordinator, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department

Ann Simmons graduated from the College of Charleston in 2006 with a BA in Arts Management and minors in Art History and Business Administration. She is currently the Marketing & Development Coordinator for the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, a position she’s held since 2008. Previous experience includes internships with Redux Contemporary Art Center and The City Gallery at Waterfront Park and operational support for Holy City Bookings, a DIY venture that organized concerts and booked tours for indie and label-backed musicians. Ann is a co-founder of Charleston Supported Art, LLC, and is a member of the Charleston Association of Grant Professionals.

Andrew Simonet

Andrew Simonet | Artist + Founder, Artists U

Andrew Simonet is a choreographer, writer, and founder of Artists U. He served as co-directed and lead fundraiser for Headlong Dance Theater from 1993 to 2013 where he focused on immersive, intimate works. As the lead fundraiser he secured support from The Creative Capital Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and Pew Fellowships in the Arts. Headlong's work has been presented by Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, MassMOCA, Central Park Summerstage, The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Andrew founded Artists U in 2005 offering free planning and professional development work for artists in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Carolina. He gives talks and workshops nationally, and is an artist leader with Creative Capital's Professional Development Program. Andrew lives in West Philly with his artist wife, Elizabeth, and their sons, Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.

Mark Sloan

Mark Sloan | Director + Senior Curator, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Mark Sloan has been the Director and Chief Curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston since 1994. The Halsey Institute is a multi-disciplinary, non-collecting contemporary arts museum, with an emphasis on emerging and mid-career artists from around the world. In his thirty-year career he has organized hundreds of exhibitions, ranging from contemporary Japanese installation art to 19th Century Baluchi tribal weavings. Several of his exhibitions have traveled to institutions such as the High Museum in Atlanta, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the New Orleans Museum ofArt, Presentation House in Vancouver, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. He has authored or co-authored fourteen books on subjects ranging from Russian conceptual art to early twentieth century circus life. Mark is also an active visual artist whose works have been exhibited, published, and collected internationally.

John D. Spiak | Director + Chief Curator, Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton

John D. Spiak is the Director/Chief Curator of California State University Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) in Santa Ana. His curatorial emphasis is on contemporary art and society, with focus on works in social practice and video. Through the GCAC Artist in Residence initiative, John hosts national and international artists at the center as they develop projects, most recently Adriana Salazar (Bogota, Colombia), Carmen Papalia (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Daniel Tucker (Chicago, Illinois). Prior to his appointment at GCAC, he was Curator at the Arizona State University Art Museum where he led the residency initiative series Social Studies, which featured artist in residency solo social practice projects. He is the founder and previous acting director of the annual ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival and has curated over 100 solo and group exhibitions over his career, working directly with artists including Pipilotti Rist, Shirin Neshat, Brent Green, Tony de los Reyes, Jillian Mcdonald and Adam Chodzko. His project have received support from such prestigious organizations as The British Council, Metabolic Studio, Polish Cultural Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, and CEC ArtsLink.

Caitlin Strokosch Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Caitlin has served the Alliance since 2002 and was appointed Executive Director in 2008. During her tenure she has launched the Emerging Program Institute, conducted New Voices of Modern Arab Literature, was a writer and editor of "Surviving to Thriving: Sustaining Artist Residencies," and has authored numerous reports, essays, and articles about artist residencies and support for today's artists. A frequent public speaker, she has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, Rasmuson Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She serves on the Support for Individual Artists steering committee of Grantmakers in the Arts, on the Advisory Board of Transcultural Exchange, as an advisor to Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and on the Advisory Board of Outpost Journal. Caitlin holds a BA in music performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on music as a tool for building communities of resistance and social dissent.

Brad Thomas | Director of Residencies + Exhibitions, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Brad Thomas has over twenty years of experience as a professional artist, curator, and writer. At the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, he works with a talented team of arts professionals to advance contemporary artists and communities through a diverse series of collaborative engagements that foster creative exchanges, dialogue, and opportunities for learning. Brad also served as curator of modern and contemporary art at the Mint Museum where he expanded the museum’s permanent collection, in addition to organizing the popular residency of Japanese installation artist Motoi Yamamoto and exhibition of works by Thornton Dial. At Davidson College, where Brad was director and curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries, he led the development of the Campus Sculpture Program, numerous exhibitions, award-winning publications, and collaborative projects, including the international artists-in-residence program Force of Nature (with Mark Sloan) that commissioned site-specific installations by ten Japanese artists at seven American institutions.

 

Susan Page Tillett | Executive Director, Mesa Refuge

Susan Page Tillett became the first professional Executive Director of the Mesa Refuge in October 2013. After 12 years as Executive Director of Ragdale, she came to the Mesa Refuge as a writer during a Creative Sabbatical year and ended up moving from Chicago to California, surprising herself by embracing the challenge of taking another artist community from founder’s start up to a sustainable organization. At the Mesa Refuge, writers focus on the pressing issues of our time, including the environment, the economy, and social equity. Susan is working with founder Peter Barnes to make the work of Mesa Refuge writers an important part of the national conversation on change and a vital part of the Bay-area cultural community. Susan is co-author, with Sarah Hadley of The Ragdale House Speaks and is working on a book called Reclaiming the Gold.

 

Eric Wallner | CEO, Torpedo Factory Art Center

Eric Wallner is the Chief Executive Officer of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA. He has over twenty years experience working for community-based organizations and local arts agencies as well as cultural institutions on state and national levels. He holds a BA from Brown University in Art/Semiotics, an MA in Arts Policy and Administration from the Ohio State University and has taught in the Arts Management program at George Mason University. While at the Urban Institute, he spent three years as a lead researcher on Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists and was a project manager for the design and construction of a national database of artists resources now known as NYFA Source (www.nyfa.org). As a consultant, he has worked for the Creative Capital Foundation, co-wrote the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Plan and served as Senior Research Associate for Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals, Volume Two: Seven Case Studies for the National Endowment for the Arts. From 2006-2012, he worked for the City of Ventura: first as the Cultural Affairs Supervisor and most recently as the Creative Economy Specialist within the Economic Development Division. During his tenure, he was responsible for the creation of the City’s film commission, Ventura Music Week, Mayor’s Arts Awards, the Nonprofit Sustainability Center, and won the National Arts Marketing award from Americans for the Arts for his collaborative work with the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Ryan Walsh | Writing Program Director + Grants Program Manager, Vermont Studio Center

Ryan Walsh is the Writing Program Director and Grants Program Manager at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC). In addition to program development, management, and fundraising, he facilitates accessibility initiatives at VSC. He is author of The Sinks (2010 Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Competition winner) and his poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in national literary journals, including Blackbird; Ecotone; FIELD; Forklift, Ohio; Green Mountains Review; and Narrative. He currently serves as an editorial board member for Q Ave Press, makers of handmade chapbooks of poetry, translations, and visual art. Ryan has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Integrative Studies from Warren Wilson College.

Cynthia Weitzel | Artist, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Visual Artist Cynthia Weitzel received her training in the fine arts from Austin Peay State University where she earned her BBA in Business Management with Minor in Fine Art Studio in 2000. After 25 years of work in nonprofit service and human rights advocacy, she made the transition to career artist in 2011 by accepting The Anderson Center’s (Red Wing, Minnesota) invitation to join their community of permanent year-round resident artists. While her concentration is in painting – traditional to contemporary – she loves experimenting in all media from printmaking to sculpture. Being Deaf, much of her work reflects the history, life and perspective of American Deaf Culture in a style often shared among minority artists. In partnership with The Anderson Center, she just completed hosting the first US Deaf Artists Residency Program, a projected funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and is currently working on establishing the Deaf Arts Guild – a national professional development member organization by and for Deaf artists of all disciplines.

Pamela Winfrey | Senior Artist, Exploratorium

Pamela Winfrey is the Senior Artist for the Exhibit Environment at the Exploratorium, where she has worked since 1979. She was the curator for the Exploratorium’s new West Gallery, a gallery that explores humans as phenomena. In 2009 she was the lead curatorial consultant for Creative Capital’s emerging art forms. Pamela is an award-winning playwright: a recipient of the “Audience Favorite” award at the Avant Garde Theatre Festival, a finalist at Arts and Letters, and a prize winner at "Method and Madness Festival. She is the recipient of a Marin Arts Council Independent Artist award and a Sloan grant for “Celestial Bodies,” a play about the first female radio astronomer. Pamela is currently working with composer Richard Jennings on an adaptation of Dickins’ “The Cricket on the Hearth” as well as “Chicken’s Fight Back” a play about the chicken industry and a timid matriarch who escapes her abusive family.

 

Tiffany York | Contemporary Programs & Residency Manager, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Tiffany Shea York joined the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston in 2000 to manage the Artist-in-Residence program, contemporary exhibitions and public programs. Since then she has worked with over 70 artists from around the globe and helped realize nearly 40 exhibitions, artist’s projects, and performances at the museum. She recently served on the advisory committee for Mansion as Muse at the Victoria Mansion, Portland, ME and on the selection committee for the Fenway Alliance, Boston. Tiffany received her BA at Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Prior to the Gardner she worked as a jeweler and co-founded and directed Boston’s White Elephant Gallery, which exhibited work of up-and-coming artists in all media.